Diffusion of IT Innovations via Social Media: Studying a Chinese Micro-Blog Community

This study aims to bridge innovation diffusion research and social media research. We have examined the diffusion of IT innovations in China's largest micro-blog community - SINA Weibo. Specifically, we explored the factors that influenced the number of times a message is reposted in Weibo. By analyzing 128,856 messages about three contemporary IT innovations and 40 major IT companies in China, we found that the number of followers of a message's author, high-status user's repost, the presence of a question mark, exclamation mark, other users' names, and URLs are all factors positively associated with repost numbers. In contrast, the total number of messages an author posts is negatively associated with the reposts he/she attracts. Additionally, each micro-blog message must have the right amount of information, not too much or too little, for it to attract reposts.